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Dangerous drivers putting Sheffield road workers at risk

6 July 2017

Streets Ahead has joined forces with South Yorkshire Police to urge drivers across Sheffield to slow down around roadwork sites.

The plea follows a number of incidents across the city which have seen road workers put at risk by people speeding through work sites and in some cases deliberately driving through road closures. Recording and addressing these incidents is part of Amey’s Target Zero campaign, which aims to keep its employees and members of the public safe every day.

A Road Worker Safety campaign is being launched by Streets Ahead and supported by South Yorkshire Police to highlight this issue to Sheffield residents.
Over the last year, Streets Ahead Road workers have reported:

  • 107 incidents of people ignoring road closures;
  • 82 incidents of staff being verbally abused or threatened
  • 41 incidents of equipment being stolen or damaged.

Nick Hetherington, network manager for Streets Ahead, said: “The highest risk of injury or death for our workforce in Sheffield is from vehicles passing our sites too fast or driving without due care.

“All our staff wear bright yellow clothing when out on site, but it’s not always enough to keep them safe. You’d be surprised how many people drive recklessly around our worksites and sometimes even into the safety zones where our staff are working.

“Over the last year we’ve seen a growing number of incidents where our employees and sub-contractors have been put at unacceptable risk and in some cases this has led to the police being called and road works being delayed – and that’s not good news for anyone.”

Superintendent Paul McCurry, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Roadworks inevitably create delays in the short-term but people need to be patient while this essential work is carried out. It is entirely unacceptable for motorists to put the safety of other road users, pedestrians and road workers at risk and South Yorkshire Police will follow up on reports of interference with traffic equipment.

“Road closures are put in place to protect the public and staff who are carrying out road works. Ignoring road closures, abusing or threatening staff or damaging and stealing equipment is serious and could lead to arrest, prosecution and possibly a custodial sentence.”

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene at Sheffield City Council, said: “It is vital that drivers respect the people working out on our roads making these vital improvements – and that means taking notice of the signs, slowing down and not driving into coned off areas.

“The Streets Ahead contract is great news for Sheffield as it means better roads, lights and pavements for our city. The huge amount of works ongoing as part of the programme means that there will be numerous diversions and coned off areas at any one time.”